Recently, I have seen many inquiries on how to transfer from F-2 VISA to F-1 Status, what are the options, risks associated with each option, pros and cons for each option. Recently, I went through the process. Thereby, sharing my experiences for those in the same boat:
Available Options: Mainly two options –
i) Changing status being inside the USA
Pros: Relatively safer option
Cons: Uncertain processing time, could vary between 2-6 months based on the USCIS case processing center. As it only changes status, need to ultimately face VISA interview whenever goes out of the USA for stamping.
ii) Applying for F-1 VISA in Bangladesh (Home Country)
Pros: Quick VISA processing, usually 2/3 days if approved
Cons: Risk involved, but not more than like another F-1 VISA applicants
Why I choose to go for VISA facing option:
To catch the intended semester, otherwise I had to differ for one/two semester
The risk seems minimal (worth) to me
Like other F-1 applicant, except few questions on previous F-2 status
My Interview Experience:
Typical questions; what I am doing now, Previous USA living experiences, Present VISA status of Spouse, funding source etc.
1. Mainly, I was worried on what would happen to my F-2 VISA if my F-1 application get rejected. After researching thoroughly, this is my understanding – any of the four outcomes could happen based on the VISA Officer’s discretion and applicant case; having both F-1 and F-2, rejecting both F-1 and F-2, approving F-1 and rejecting F-2 as no longer required, and rejecting F-1 but keeping F-2. In my case, I fall into the 3rd group.
2. In terms of Funding, I have a RA offer, which doesn’t cover living expenses fully. Thereby, I prepared bank statements. But VISA officer didn’t ask for any documents other than I-20 and Passport. No Bank statement, married related proof etc.